Sportfishing Seasons in Costa Rica


Caribbean Coast Seasons

Tarpon can be found all year round, high season from December through May.

Snook generally peaks from March through May and again September through the end of November.

Fat Snook (Calba) peaks from mid-November through late January , but often makes an appearance much earlier.

Billfish Atlantic sailfish and occasional blue marlin can be found almost anytime of the year. Most are caught from February through September.

Wahoo is plentiful on the outside from early February through mid June. Dorado can be caught just outside the river mouths throughout the year. Best fishing is when the runoff carries out the debris that forms inshore trash lines.

Tripletail is available January through June.

Kingfish, Spanish and Cero Mackerel, Jack Crevalle, Barracuda are abundant close to shore any time the ocean is flat.

Northern Pacific

The Gulf of Papagayo to Cabo Blanco

Flamingo beach has a full-service marina and is the major sportfishing center in the area.

Marlin can be found every month of the year, especially from November to early March; then slowing from April to early June and picking up in August and September.

Sailfish are also available throughout the year, with May through August as the top season. The slowest months are fro August through November, with September as the lowest time.

Tuna peaks from August through October. Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are found at Catalina Island, 30 minutes from the beach where schools of 12- to 20-pounders are abundant. There are frequently large concentrations from 40- to 60-pound tuna and there are plenty of 200- to 400-pounders caught every year.

Wahoo season begins with the May rains and peaks in July and August. They are caught around rocky points and islands and occasionally offshore.

Roosterfish are available all year. In Papagayo Bay more are caught from November through March. The roosters like the structure of the shoreline and islands where they're found in 50 to 60 feet of water.

Central Pacific

Cabo Blanco to Drake's Bay

Quepos is the center of fishing, but there are charters out of Puntarenas, the southern end of the Nicoya Peninsula, Jaco Beach, Punta Leona and Drake's Bay. Marlin has it's top month in October, but it's also good in September and November; occasional blues and rare blacks are likely to be found anytime of the year.

Sailfish are best from the middle of December to the end of April when they begin moving north, but the big schools move in October. A few sails always show from June through September.

Tuna are easily found throughout the yea along the Pacific coast, but are more abundant from June to September. Most are 8- to 12- pounders but you can make catches in the 100- to 200-pound range as well.

Wahoo are not common around Quepos, but in late summer you can find them on Drake's Bay and Caño Island, from late June to early August.

Dorado begins with the winter rains late in May that wash debris from the river mouths creating the inshore trash lines that dolphins favor.

Roosterfish are better in the mouths of the Parrita river, outside Damas, and Palo Seco river. Also around Dominical and Drake's Bay. Best fishing is from June through early September.

Snook are found in many river mouths along the coast, like the Sierpe River and lagoon. Best months are from July through November during the heavy rains season.

Southern Pacific

Golfito & Playa Zancudo Osa Corcovado and Drake's Bay
Parrot Bay Fishing Resort has a free fishing offer

Marlin peaks from August through December, but you can pick up an occasional striped, blue or black if the water temperature is up.

Sailfish peaks from December through March. Slows from April into early June and picks up again in August and September.

Tuna best fishing for the 100-pound and up yellowfin follows the marlin and sailfish season, but schools can be found nearly always.

Dorado is best from late May through October when the rivers are running full. Wahoo is not abundant, but can be occasionally taken almost anytime of the year around the structure off Matapalo Cape.

Roosterfish can be caught virtually any month of the year. The region is famous for big roosters.

Snook can be found all year, but is best from mid- or late-May through July and in January and February.


Parrot Bay Village in Puerto Jimenez on the Osa Penninsula near Corcovado, great hotel for sport fishing enthusiasts and beach and nature tourists.

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Excerpt from Canatur travel magazine

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